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A New Jersey woman indicates her husband developed non-Hodgkins lymophoma following use of the weed killer Roundup, which ultimately resulted in his death two years ago.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Mildred Schroeder in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on October 12, alleging that Monsanto failed to adequately warn consumers about the cancer risks associated with glyphosate contained in their herbicide, despite clear evidence that it was causing problems for users.
“Glyphosate and Roundup in particular have long been associated with carcinogenicity and the development of numerous forms of cancer, including, but not limited to, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and soft tissue sarcoma,” according to the wrongful death lawsuit. “Defendant has known of this association since the early to mid-1980s and numerous human and animal studies have evidenced the carcinogenicity of glyphosate and/or Roundup.”
Schroeder indicates that her husband, Edward, began using Roundup in 2010, spraying the weed killer on a regular basis for years.
Although all safety and precautionary warnings provided by the manufacturer were followed, the lawsuit alleges that exposure to the weed killer resulted in Edward Schroeder’s development of cancer, and his later death due to non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL) complications on October 14, 2015.
“At the time of manufacture, Defendant could have provided the warnings or instructions regarding the full and complete risks of Roundup and glyphosate-containing products, because it knew or should have known of the unreasonable risks of harm associated with the use of and/or exposure to such products,” the complaint filed by Schroeder indicates. “Had Defendant properly disclosed the risks associated with Roundup products, Decedent Plaintiff would have avoided the risk of NHL by not using Roundup products.”
Schroeder maintains that she first learned about the link between Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015, when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate contained in the weedkiller as a probable human carcinogen.
The move sparked world-wide concerns about why Monsanto failed to provide warnings and recommend safety precautions for users of Roundup, and resulted in hundreds of similar Roundup lawsuits filed in courts nationwide.
Schroader’s case will be consolidated with other cases pending n the federal court system, which are centralized as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is centralized before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California to reduce duplicative discovery, prevent conflicting rulings and serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.
As part of the coordinated MDL proceedings, Judge Chhabria has previously determined that the Roundup litigation will be bifurcated, first addressing general causation about the link between the widely used weedkiller and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, as well as other forms of cancer, before addressing case-specific issues about whether Roundup caused cancer for each individual plaintiff.
Following resolution of any motions to dismiss based on general causation, if a Roundup cancer settlements or another resolution for the litigation is not reached during the first phase of discovery, it is expected that Judge Chhabria will establish a bellwether process, where a small group of cases will be prepared for early trial dates to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the lawsuits.